She’s nothing if not predictable

The problem with the fires in California is the war in Iraq?:

California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer complained on Capitol Hill Tuesday that the ability of the state’s National Guard to respond to disasters like the fires has been compromised because too much of its equipment and personnel are committed in Iraq.

Soldier’s Mom on Milblogs:

So, 20,000 NG members in CA…5,000 deployed…and the Governator as activated…

1,500… of 15,000 available…

Are there personnel and equipment in Iraq that might have otherwise helped in this situation? Of course. Has it made a big difference? Doesn’t seem terribly likely.

But Boxer won’t let that stop her.

UPDATE: I’m sure we’ll be hearing all about this from Senator Boxer: Seasonal firefighters laid off just before fires

A good chuck of the firefighting capability in California is provided by seasonal workers. Sometimes the fires don’t cooperate with budgets or schedules:

It’s not the first time that a huge fire has happened after the firefighters are sent home. The Paradise Fire, which killed two people and destroyed 221 homes, was in October 2003. The Cedar Fire, which killed 14 people and destroyed more than 250 houses and commercial buildings, started the same month and burned into November.

Want the seasonal firefighters in late October and in November? Either shift their schedules (running the risk of leaving early season fires uncovered) or expand their schedules (paying more to do so).

Or, I guess, you could just blame the war in Iraq even though only 10% of available National Guard personnel have been called.

UPDATE 2: Apparently the California NG is undermanned by 5,000 or 6,000. This means that there are only around 10,000 personnel available, not the 15,000 that I noted earlier.

Still, only a small number of troops have been called up so far. Nothing approaching the level where deployed troops would be missed terribly.


  1. If we can pin the cause on assault weapon fire we can get Diane Feinstein in on this too. It will be the perfect firestorm. Am I nuts, or would this not destroy the career of a republican in the same, reverse situation? Turning a tragedy into a political football even as it is happening would definitely bite a republican in the ass, but for some reason democrats are free from that restraint.

  2. This phenomenon isn’t exactly unknown (Comrade Boxer being a self serving idiot, not the fact the fires are as yet uncontrolled). People all over, who let their ideology and/or emotions rule their common sense are prone to the same (pick one or more) opportunism, xenophobia, parochialism, disingenuousness, wrong headedness, narcissism, (did I mention stupidity?) etc. If this terrible situation (the fires) were to have happened in pretty much any Palestinian Territory it would be the Jews fault (not all the Palestinians would have said so, because some aren’t like that). I suspect the same would be true in a lot of Arab controlled lands because it’s near always the ‘Jews’, no matter how obvious there is a more likely or documented reason for ‘something’ having happened. Similarly, Comrade Boxer is just being a slave to her political genetics and self advancement reflexes.

  3. Two of the most moronic things I have ever heard (and that’s a high bar to jump..) have been uttered in the past two days. One, Glenn Beck – in another of his characteristic acts of self-copulation – basically said Southern California deserved to burn because they hate America. Classy. Aside from this being a pretty ugly and heinous thing to say (as I know many folks who are affected by these things right now) it demonstrates a collosal misunderstanding of the social and political demographics of Southern California. Two, I read some retard the other day that said these fires were started by Iranian agents on motorbikes with gas cans. I thought it was satire. But he was serious. I don’t even know where to start with that. V

  4. The unspoken assumption here is that ‘if’ we had sufficent resources and firemen, the fires could of been contained and loss of life and property could of been significantly mitigated. That assumption is false. A fire blessed with plenty of fuel, and 70+ mph winds, a fire will not be stopped – end of story.